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Miss Jane

by David Lober


Recommended Books:

The Ballets Russes and Its World

Dancing in the Sun: Hollywood...

Era of the Russian Ballet

Diaghilev Observed

The Art of Ballets Russes: The Serge...

Diaghilev's Ballets Russes

Spellings of Adolph Bolm's name found in his papers:

Adolph Bolm
Adolphe Bolm
Adolf Bolm
Adolph Rudolphovich Bolm
Adolph Rudolph Bolm
Adolph Emil Bolm

Edith Jane was a small and unspectacular looking woman. Her face and flesh tended to the florid. She wore her brown hair bobbed and close to the head. Miss Jane was supportive, friendly and generous, in spite of a nose that seemed to be perpetually clenched. She and Ralph Faulkner were surrogate parents as much as teachers in the school. Their relationship was close though something of a mystery.

When I first took class with her, their studio was on Highland Blvd. above Hollywood Blvd. During the period I studied with them, they moved onto Hollywood Blvd. south of Vine, and then a little farther to a complex of buildings near Western. By then it was no longer Edith Jane School of Dance, but had become The Falcon Studios.

Edith taught tap and ballet. Her usual outfit was a black tunic revealing fleshy and ruddy bare legs and arms. For tap she wore silver shoes with a silver bow. For ballet there were black ballet slippers.

There were many group photos of her in different ballet companies or productions on the walls, of the third girl from the left variety. Her favorite tap combination was a rhythmic pull back series on one foot, using the toe of the other Her ballet was unmemorable but she taught the basics. Her greatest talent, besides her diplomacy, was getting fine teachers or artists such as Adolph Bolm to teach in the school.

She also choreographed and put on recitals in places such as the Wilshire Ebell and the Hollywood Bowl. Ralph acted as general factotum, doing whatever was necessary to get the productions on. I remember a production of La Boutique Fantasque, and one of Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky. So she was not without ambition and knowledge of the classics. As I recall, her real last name was Platt.

Many names now forgotten but then known and even celebrated passed through her school. Jane withers, Edith Fellows, Buddy Ebsen, Alexis Smith Frances Rafferty, Danny Daniels, Dante DiPaolo, and Luigi were some of them.

She was very kind to me as well as encouraging me in my mid-teens to tryout for Madame Nijinska and Bolm for their choreographed evenings of dance at the Hollywood Bowl. One result of working for these relative giants of dance was to realize how little I had learned with her.

It was to her that I went to ask if she thought it was all right to study with Lester Horton

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